Hey, I’m 57 and just beginning to understand some things…
I am not stupid but I am finding that I am ignorant (or at the least unaware) on some rather big issues.
I am learning, because I’m willing to, and more so because…
I am lucky & blessed to have women who have come through my life that dared to share..
…their stories, with their vulnerabilities, their fears and even their judgments. They made it Personal… and because of these amazing woman, I have been given the opportunity explore and challenge myself toward change.
The current ‘me’ pretty much doesn’t fit the ‘in you face’ attributes of the stereotypical white male living under the patriarchal umbrella. I am a very lucky fellow.
Here’s what’s so special and valuable about making things Personal. It gives US the opportunity to relate – because it’s a person, sharing their experience(s), not the relating someone else’s experience or parroting someone else’s words – its so very real. When I hear a catch phrase, a slogan, a rant or some such thing over & over, relatability starts to fall away. I tend to start to numb under the info barrage and the message eventually becomes just words or noise amidst all the clanging of social & mass media.
Given the opportunity to connect with YOUR experience, it can ignite empathy in me. It makes it Personal. If you (a person), talk to me (a person) and don’t automatically lump me in with ‘them’ (men et al or maybe those that hurt you), the conversation becomes more pliable, and with that, receptivity expands.
I remember my first experience of this type of thing with a lovely woman willing to lead the way and to practice this with me. I had just begun my ‘conscious journey’ and was struggling with admiring pretty woman (because I had the idea that spiritual people didn’t do such things). She smiled and said “its ok, its natural and normal. Where guys get into trouble is they camp there (energetically & in action) – don’t do that”
With the ever changing Tribe of Woman I’ve encountered, we’ve covered such volatile topics from rape to abortion and the trials of female puberty. I can tell you that sometimes it was not pretty and never easy but I walked away with better understanding than I ever would have the anger and blame filled words that readily fall from people’s mouths.
I am truly sorry for my role in all the hurt, for the times where I acted out of integrity or ignorance. I hear you… on your (repeated) hurt – really. I acknowledge it’s not your job to fix this or train men… yet making it Personal to another person, could change the world